Washington and Winnipeg meet for the first of two meeting on consecutive nights at the MTS Centre today. The rare back to back will be the third and fourth meetings of the two teams this season. The teams split their two games in Washington with the Caps winning the most recent by a 3-0 score, a game and result which was very disappointing for Winnipeg who had come in playing so well and seemed to lay an egg on that night. These will be 4 highly contested points as one team is at the top of the division and trying to hold on, while the other is near the bottom and trying to fight back into a playoff race.
Though at this point a playoff spot seems almost like a dream in Washington, this team is putting off waking up as long as possible. On Tuesday Washington looked very impressive against one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference the Pittsburgh Penguins, taking a lead into the third period before falling by a 2-1 score. Although having a very disappointing season the Capitals are not a team to overlook as they are still packed with offensive power and on any night can come out and surprise any team.
Winnipeg has simply been great in this last little stretch. Besides the stinker in Ottawa Sunday evening Winnipeg has played strong recently and gotten some very big wins which have paid off, placing the Jets at the top of the Southeast division. They will look to hold on to that position Thursday night against the Washington Capitals. In Winnipegs last game, Tuesday night, the Jets came from behind scoring three unanswered third period goals and beating one of the strongest teams in the East. Although the first two periods of the game were completely flat for the Jets, they came out in the third and found a way to win, which good teams, and teams that make the playoffs have to be able to do.
Home sweet home: After a poor start to the year at the MTS Centre the Jets have been hot recently, feeding off the home crowd and getting the job done. This must continue for tonight.
Take Advantage: The Washington Capitals have not been a good team this year, however the Jets have a habit of playing down to their opponents and taking nights off against lesser teams. This can not be the case as at this point of the lockout shortened season every game needs to be treated like a playoff game. If the Jets come out with their A game they will get a win.
Goaltending: As it does most nights, a lot of the Jets success falls onto the shoulders of Ondrej Pavelec, he plays well, the Jets have a great shot to win. On the other end the Caps have gotten shakey goaltending at best, Winnipeg must get the puck towards the net and take advantage of some questionable goaltending.
Ondrej Pavelec (13-12-2) GAA: 2.73 SV% .906
Braden Holtby (10-10-0) GAA: 2.92 SV% .911
Enstrom WPG, (Shoulder) questionable
Redmond WPG, (Thigh Laceration) out
Peluso WPG, (Hand) out
Slater WPG, (Upper Body) out
Montoya WPG, (Lower Body) questionable
Poti WSH, (Back) out
Kundratek WSH, (Leg) out
Erskine WSH, (Upper Body) out
Green WSH, (Groin) out
Jets are a different team since these teams last met, dominate on home ice
Jets 6 Capitals 3